Photo courtesy Lydden Hill

GRC to wrap season at legendary Lydden Hill, birthplace of rallycross racing

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Even though the 2018 Red Bull Global Rallycross season is still three months away, the series is already thinking ahead to the season finale in late October.

To that end, GRC announced Tuesday that the last two rounds of the season – and the eighth race overall – will be held Oct. 27-28 at Lydden Hill in Kent, England.

Acknowledged as the birthplace of rallycross racing, the mile-long Lydden Hill is one of the most well-known and challenging courses for rally racing in the world.

In addition to regular competitors on the GRC circuit, series officials announced Tuesday in a media release that there will be “a number of select ‘wildcard’ entries as the UK takes on the USA for the first time in Red Bull GRC history.”

“Bringing Red Bull Global Rallycross to Lydden Hill’s historic venue makes perfect sense for the series’ long-awaited return to Europe,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “Our teams and drivers are looking forward to battling it out for the championship on the circuit where the sport first began, so fans will be sure to see some of the most intense racing of the year over this double-header weekend.”

This will mark the GRC’s return to Europe since its last appearance across the Atlantic Ocean in 2013.

Among series regulars expected to take part include prior Lydden Hill race winner Tanner Foust, as well as three-time defending GRC series champion Scott Speed.

“Lydden has been at the forefront of rallycross for more than 50 years and we’ve invested in the sport throughout that time,” Lydden Hill owner and former rallycross racer Pat Doran said. “It’s fitting therefore that the GRC’s return to Europe is here, where rallycross fans will get the opportunity to see the best GRC has to offer, including the series’ signature 70ft table top jump, on our purpose-built rallycross track.

“We always receive great support from the motorsport fraternity, and I’m sure the fans will be out in force once again as we pull out all the stops to ensure the GRC season-finale is a sell-out success.”

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.